What’s the big deal about Black Friday?

Updated on Tuesday September 12, 2023: You hear the media talking about it in the news. You see your friends camped out for days in front of Best Buy. You’re getting a million emails advertising “Black Friday” deals. But what’s it all about? Well, let me do quick rundown and let you know everything you need to know about Black Friday

What’s Black Friday?

Black Friday is know as the day after Thanksgiving (in the United States, Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November). Many consider it as the start of the holiday shopping season. It’s become a very busy shopping day, not only because most people have the day off this day (it’s common to take a four day weekend over Thanksgiving), but also because of the excessive promotions seen from just about every retailer. You’ll find that even stores like Apple, who almost never have any sales, discount nearly every product in the store on this day. As Black Friday has gained in popularity over the years, many stores have pushed extended their deep discounts beyond just this day. You’ll find that many stores begin their holiday sales before Thanksgiving and run then through Christmas. Even on Black Friday itself, when year after year stores would open early and earlier, now many open are opening on Thanksgiving afternoon.

Do I need to wait in line, too?

Ten or more years ago, it you wanted to pick up the best Black Friday deals, you had to be in-store. That meant waking up really early in the morning, stand in a line with a bunch of other tired folks (and often outside in the cold/rain/snow), and then being quick to grab why you wanted as there would only be a few items in stock.

These days are different. Much different. Most retailers have the exact same Black Friday deals posted online at their company websites and almost always with free shipping or in-store pick up. And often the deals last through the weekend (often through Cyber Monday) so you have a little bit more time to get everything you need.

Are the deals really that good?

As with everything in life, it depends. In general, most Black Friday deals are equal to or better than the sale prices offered at different time of the year. Especially when it comes to big ticket items like TV’s, appliances, furniture, and high-end electronics, this is the best time to save. You’ll find that other product segments, like shoes, toys, and clothing have smaller absolute savings so it’s not worth breaking your beauty sleep to fight someone in the mall for the last pair of loafers that are $5.00 less than usual.

Is Black Friday better than Cyber Monday?

If you’re shopping at the mall, then Black Friday will often have better sale prices than Cyber Monday. If you’re shopping online, you’ll probably notice many of the same or similar discounts on both of these days. Heck, Cyber Monday was coined as the online equivalent to Black Friday and we’re starting to see how every year it keeps gaining in popularity.

Is Black Friday a national holiday?

In the United States, Black Friday is not an officially recognized holiday. And we are pretty sure it’s not recognized as an official holiday anywhere else in the world (although you will find Black Friday deals in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia). However most businesses are closed on this day in celebration of Thanksgiving so just check with your boss if you need to come into the office after Thanksgiving.

When’s the next Black Friday?

The next Black Friday will be November 24, 2023. That’s 1 day earlier than it was in 2022. The date changes from year to year as it always falls the day after the 4th Thursday of November. And because the way dates and calendars work, that means that Black Friday is either the 3rd, 4th or even 5th Friday of November depending on the year.

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